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Epson HC720 Home Theater Projector: Physical Tour

Posted on October 5, 2008 by Art Feierman

Epson HC720 Home Theater Projector: Physical Tour

This one is easy. The Epson Home Cinema 720, physically is essentially identical to the Home Cinema 400 that it replaces.

Starting from the front, this Epson sports a fairly large zoom lens (right of center, if you are facing the projector). The zoom lens has a 2:1 zoom ratio, allowing the Epson to fill a 100 inch diagonal 16:9 screen from as close as 10.4 feet, or as far back as 22.2 feet. Manual focus and zoom are achieved by rotating the appropriate rings on the lens barrel. Close to center is the front infra-red sensor for the remote, and to the left is the front vent which blows hot air out on an angle, so as not to have heat distortion in front of the lens. The front exhaust also makes the HC720 an excellent candidate for shelf mounting in the back of your room. Immediately below toward the outsides, are two screw thread adjustable front feet.

Moving to the top (and looking from the rear) of the Epson HC720, just behind the lens are two dials, one for vertical lens shift (with a very impressive range), and horizontal lens shift. There is enough range to mount the projector above the top of your screen, or below the bottom, or anywhere in between.

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The control panel is located on the top, as well. It has the same good functionality as the older HC400. From left to right, a large Power button, then the Source select button. Next comes the four navigational arrow keys in the typical diamond layout, with the menu button in the top left, and the escape button top right. In the center of the diamond, is the Enter button. That leaves only the Aspect ratio button on the right.

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In addition there are two indicators - power, and temperature/lamp.

Moving to the back of the Epson HC720, you'll find the input panel. Nothing particularly special here, and organized in two rows. From the left, a 12 volt trigger for working with properly equipped motorized screens, a SCART port, and below it, a composite video (NTSC/PAL/SECAM). There is a single component video input (3 color coded RCA jacks), and below them, both S-video input and an RS-232c for "command and control" of the projector from a computer or room control system. Back to the top row, there is an analog PC input (which can double as a 2nd component video input), and finally a single HDMI connector.

I'm a bit disappointed with the single HDMI connector. Most projectors are now sporting two, and ideally, three would be perfect. That said, 3 HDMI inputs is a rare thing, but several of the Epson's direct competition offer two.

The back also has the rear infra-red sensor, the power receptacle, and a hard power switch (which must be on, for the top power button or the remote control to turn the projector on).

The Home Cinema 720 has a pearl white finish with a silver lens barrel. Overall, physically, it is a very attractive, compact projector.

That covers the hardware, except for the remote control which we'll get to in the General Performance section. Now for the fun stuff - Image Quality.

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